November 26, 2012

A Scrooge No More

For years, I despised the coming of the holidays. The family tug-of-war. Where do we go? How many turkey dinners is it possible to have in a single day? Then the baby came along and that actually made the struggle worse as everyone wanted to see him. We tried a joint family holiday (yikes). Not knowing what to buy for presents for family. Not knowing if I should buy presents for co-workers. Shopping for the presents with ten gazillion other people. Procrastinating on the outdoor decorations until there is a blizzard blowing outside (true story). Weight gain. Gah.

I could go on. But...

So Proud Of His Tree
Something magical happened this holiday season. My child is old enough to get caught up on the spirit and I have to say, it is contagious. He loves all of the lights. He loves hearing about Santa (he asked if he could give Santa 3 choices this year). He was excited to learn Christmas songs. He keeps asking when his elf Ernie will show up (we are holding out on Ernie as long as possible... that is another whole blog post though). He helped me decorate the tree and is so proud of his work. How could you not be happy being around him?

This is also his first year of Sunday School and I am so happy that he is enjoying it! Every Sunday after the hubs and I pick up Jack from class we "recap" about what he learned in Sunday School. I just love that he's learning about the true meaning of Christmas and having it be about more than just presents and Santa. He will be singing in his first ever Christmas program and my family (you know... the same ones that were stressing me out every year?), they will be there in full to support him and I LOVE it!

I will also be singing for Christmas with my best friend this year. I love singing with her on the holidays because it is a reminder of how long we have been friends, of everything we have been through together over the last 15 years, how our love for music always bring us together and especially it is a reminder of how much I truly love Christmas.

Here is a little snippet of my BFF and I singing together this past Easter (shameless plug... she has a Christmas Album that she recorded and I'll be pimping it out for her next week):

So, forget about the stress. Forget about the stuff that needs to get done. Forget about yourself.

Look for the beauty in the holiday season!

November 13, 2012

Infertility Sucks, But Miracles Do Exist

Five years ago, I got a call from one of my dearest friends. After struggling with infertility, going through treatment, multiple miscarriages they were in fact, finally (yes, I'm throwing out the "f" word infertiles) pregnant. I was so, so happy for her. But I will confess, painfully jealous. I cried a lot that night. Cried out of happiness for my friend who got her miracle. Cried for myself because mine hadn't arrived yet. Once I got that cry out of my system, I knew it was time. Time to let go. Time to move on and be happy not just for myself, but for my friend whom I knew would be an amazing mama.

My husband and I let go. We decided that it was time to let go of the notion that we would be parents and embrace our life as dual income, no kids people. After letting go of the stress of trying to get pregnant and month after month of BFN's, we actually started to enjoy our marriage and our life. We made plans to travel. We even joked about opening an Applebees-esque restaurant & bar where children wouldn't be allowed. Yeah. We were "those" people.

I chuckle. Several weeks after a night of pretty heavy boozing, trips to both Mexico & Tahiti on the calendar, I ended up being one of those fertile people I loathed. Infertiles, you know of whom I speak. I will never under any circumstances say that it happened because I "relaxed". I got a BFP. No rhyme. No reason. Just a miracle.
My Ridiculously Cute Miracle Baby

Well, a couple weeks ago, that same dear friend invited me out for drinks and dropped the bomb that they are miraculously pregnant with their 2nd baby. They went through all the stages- deciding that having one child was okay. Deciding to try again. Deciding not to try again. Looking into adoption. Passing on adoption. Looking into IVF. No medication. No rhyme. No reason. Just a miracle. Amazing.

Upon the announcement of their news, I got the slew of "Are you okay?" emails from mutual friends and family. You know what my answer was and still is? I AM FINE!! Actually, I love it. I loved their news so much that I got choked up not feeling sorry for myself for once, but truly, for them. I am so overwhelmingly happy for them. I am thrilled they give infertility a big FUCK YOU.

Miracles are real. My friend and I will share that bond always. Our miracle babies. We feel so blessed it is ridiculous.
Our Miracle Babies. We love that they are buds. 

When I lost my left ovary and tube a year ago, I was all but told to forget about visions of another miracle baby. I was given scary statistics about a 60% miscarriage rate for someone with my condition, not to mention how hard it would be to get pregnant with one ovary in the first place and a questionable one at that. Being my stubborn self, the answer wasn't a flat out NO, so I never really got any closure.

Despite this crushing diagnosis, the idea of a 2nd baby still haunts me. I see how good Jack is with his younger cousins. I think he would be an amazing big brother. I have found it hard to adjust to the idea of him being an only child yet often find myself thinking I'm crazy for thinking I could handle another. I even had a random dream a couple weeks ago that I had a daughter. Her name was Katie. My Kate.

So I'm just going to confess, right here, right now: I want another child. So much so that my husband and I had the conversation about taking the steps into IVF. I'm going to have another discussion with my doctor and start there. Perhaps she doesn't want to touch my situation, which heck, I couldn't blame her. I will then ask her for a referral for a RE and take this to the next level. I want this. Not out of jealousy of my friend. Not just for me and my husband. FOR JACKSON. He deserves a chance to be a big brother. If I get another "no way in hell" answer from a specialist, then I will accept my fate. I will be okay. We will be okay.

At least I will know that I tried.

November 12, 2012

Fa La La La Let's Not Gain Weight This Holiday Season

I'll confess it out loud: I am the queen of holiday weight gain.

Perhaps most people start their holiday eating downfall at Thanksgiving. Mine starts much earlier: Halloween. Candy everywhere. I have zero willpower against a mini Hershey's bar. We dumped the remains of our candy into the last few lucky trick-or-treater's bags; however, my son still came home with a load. We kept a few "special occasion" treats and put them in a place that is significantly difficult for me to reach. Then there is work. Everyone seemed to have brought their extras in and are placed ever so strategically so I have to walk by it every time I go to the printer. Since I didn't post any Halloween pics... this sounds like the right time to show you the awesomeness that was our costumes this year:
Zombie Plastic Surgeon 

My best friend. I gave her a special face lift. 

I'll leave you with a cute Ninja Turtle. 

After a busy week and weekend filled with much more eating out than I care to do, I stepped on the scale this morning. Ouch. I have exceeded my weight threshold by 5 pounds (now 10 pounds over my goal) and must get back in action before the slide goes any further.

I freaking love holiday food. Cookies. Chex Mix. Candies. You name it. I love it. However: I will not let this holiday season get the best of me. I will not let this holiday season ruin my hard work.

I am so glad that I decided to use Weight Watchers as a tracking mechanism. I knew that reaching my goal weight wasn't going to mean I could let go of the tools I used to get there. I clearly cannot be trusted to be left alone. I tracked my weekend food this morning and I was shocked at how many awful choices I made when I clearly thought I was being "good". Frankly, I deserve to gain weight after my hideous weekend. Yikes. Tracking is SO important. No matter which tool you use whether it is Weight Watchers, SparkPeople, My Fitness Pal or just a plain old notebook just write down what you eat! Be accountable!

I also need to figure out my fitness. Yes, I'm running in a 5K fun run on Thanksgiving so I have to stay active if I want to be able to walk for the rest of the day next Thursday (okay... Thanksgiving is next Thursday? WTF time. Slow down already!). I am the CLASSIC example of the theory: Oh, I worked out so now I can eat like a pig. I must get rid of that mentality. Immediately.
My Running Buddy- At the Monster Dash
My initial reaction to my weight gain this week was wanting to run back to Medifast. That is not the answer for me. I NEED to learn how to deal with this in the real world. Don't get me wrong, Medifast was excellent at helping me lose a mass amount of weight, but for a measly 5-10 pounds? I must be able to do this on my own eating real food.

So what's my plan you ask?

  • TRACK TRACK TRACK. I've already blown through my points allowance this week, so I have to be on point every day if I don't want to see the scale creep up anymore. If I can remain honest with tracking, I should be able to make it through the holidays relatively unscathed. 
  • WORKOUT. While I don't have time to sit down with a trainer this week (and realistically, it probably won't happen until the new year), I know what to do. As I discovered yesterday, running outside when it is cold as hell out is not my gig. My lungs STILL hurt today after yesterday's 2 mile jaunt. I was actually thinking about starting the 5k-10k training program via treadmill to just SEE what I'm capable of. My friend really wants to do the Women Rock 10K next summer and I need to know what I'm able to do (19 minute mile is their minimum... I run an 11 min/mile 5K... not sure what a 10K will look like). Anyway... I digress... I plan to work out a minimum of 30 minutes every stinking day until I am under my threshold and then commit to a 5 day a week plan. Sound brutal? Well... it should be. I know better. Now I need to make up for it. More importantly, fitness needs to be a regular, routine part of my life if I hope to keep the weight off. 
  • DRINK WATER. Since starting my job downtown, I have been inundated with a Caribou or Starbucks in nearly every skyway in this city. Admittedly, my coffee/caffeine consumption has tripled. It started out with my fascination of the Northern Lite Dark Chocolate Mocha (which boasts upwards of 200 calories or something nutzo like that) to being a little smarter and just filling up my mug with dark roast (FYI, I bought a new travel mug while waiting in line... I kid you not this thing keeps my coffee smokin' hot all day long). While I do get 60oz of water in as a daily average, I could probably be drinking much, much more and I intend to do so. 
I'm serious about training for a 10K. Don't laugh (I'm laughing...) :) Who has some training recommendations? Websites? iPhone apps? Help!



November 09, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: I Made A New Friend!

One of the most challenging parts of starting a new job is the loneliness. Yes, people are kind. Yes, people are friendly. But making friends at work doesn't exactly happen overnight. As I head into my 6th month in my new world, things are finally starting to slip into place. My work is fun and challenging. I have some semblance of work/life balance shaping up. I work with people who are fun and smart.

One of the things I have had trouble with adjusting to in my new work world is my workout routine, especially now that it is dark so early in the evening, the motivation has been lagging. Thankfully, in a sidebar conversation with a colleague the other day, we decided that we need to start working out together over lunch! I have a gym membership and there is a location here in Downtown Mpls that I can visit. So what is my hold up? THERE ISN'T ONE. We decided that starting in January we will take Zumba together at least once a week as a minimum. I'm just SO excited that I found someone who appreciates fitness as much as I do! I felt like a teenager coming home from my first day of school screaming, "Mom, I made a new friend today!"

How are things going in the weight maintenance department you ask? I'm officially retired from Medifast and I am happy to say it isn't because I was a quitter- it was because I ACTUALLY COMPLETED THE PROGRAM. Holy shit. After years of failure on making lifetime at Weight Watchers, it feels good to say that I made it. Yes, my weight has fluctuated as my body tries to figure out exactly what I'm trying to do to it. Yes, I gained a few over Halloween. I am officially tracking and maintaining via Weight Watchers Online and it has been invaluable in helping me stick with my healthy lifestyle. You know what is amazing? I am okay. I'm okay with gaining a few pounds and I'm glad for it because it means I am conscious of what is going on. I'm still surprised when people say I'm "skinny". This week, I donated blood (and feel good about doing my part because the supply is heading to victims of Hurricane Sandy)- they had asked if I was eligible to donate platelets but besides being too short, I was also under the minimum weight requirement. I can't say that has ever happened to me! It feels awesome that I can legitimately be done with the "weight loss" mode of my life and learn how to be this new me.

I did decide to run in one more 5K for the season: the Turkey Day 5K. I LOVE that my good friend Kathy is getting into running and that I have a buddy to do these events with! I have a feeling that she is going to start kicking my ass soon. I'm so proud of her. I'm really excited about doing this 5K though because at least I won't feel quite as guilty about indulging on that Thanksgiving dinner. My husband and son are planning to join me that morning and I have an extra incentive to finish under 34 minutes- I want to watch my kiddo compete in the Kids K which is 1 lap around the track. He is SO excited to race like his mommy and I am so thrilled that I could even remotely be such a good fitness role model for him.

Overall, I am in a really good place. I am content with my weight. I am content with how I look. I'm content with my job. Stay tuned for a future blog post on the one thing that might be missing.

November 07, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: God Bless the U.S.A.

I am hating that I don't have the time to write like I used to! I'm working on finding balance between work, being a mom and completely spacing out at the end of the night.

THE most important thing I did this week is exercise my right to vote. I'm not going to go into a tirade about who I voted for or why. I'm not going to sit here and de-friend those who have an opposing view from my own or tell them that they are morons or idiots. The beauty of this great country is my right to vote. I have the right to my opinion. So all of you haters out there who stomping all over each other today? Cut. It. Out. Grow up. I witnessed some seriously horrific comments on Twitter and Facebook, most specifically pointed at Republican voters (not even kidding... someone called Melissa Joan Heart a "c" word for voting for Romney). You should be ashamed of yourselves for your blatant hate. Now can we all just put our rude and hateful opinions aside and start getting some shit done?


Regardless of the results, the haters, the whiners and the closed-minded individuals who ruined the spirit and energy the a presidential election usually holds, I am still proud to be an American. Proud to have a chance through my vote to make my voice heard.

God Bless America.

 
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